Life becomes a nightmare for the subjects of a bizarre experiment.
In his first installment of a proposed trilogy, Weech (The Journals of Bob Drifter, 2015) introduces readers to a mesh of characters—the noble Sal, the gifted Kaitlyn Olhouser, Chris Royd the “has-been firefighter,” and several others—all of whom find themselves beset with violent nightmares unlike any they’d felt before. One by one, they awake in steel, sterile rooms restrained to their beds. They learn they are the targets of a sinister experiment, led by the darkly charismatic Gen. Leeroy Pederson. The general and his team of doctors and technicians are trying to create a more evolved human being, a better spy, and as they manipulate the nightmares of their victims, one after the other dies. But some survive. In nocturnal psychic communication with one another, those subjects conduct their own battle, a fight on two fronts: the first, to maintain their sanity; the second, to protect one another against the strange creatures who menace them—Minotaurs, ghoulish skeletons dripping with blood. Are these creatures the manifestations of their own minds, carefully designed implants, or something even darker at work? Have the subjects begun to fight a nightmare war even among themselves? In his novel, Weech takes his readers down a dark path, but one dotted with the lights of hope and the warmth of fellowship. While the author possesses the skills to create worlds where nothing is as it appears, he also makes his readers believe in the reality of those realms. “No one looks for themes or lessons in literature anymore,” one of the characters observes in an unusually peaceful moment. “They just want to stuff their faces full of popcorn and see pretty explosions.” Fortunately for his audience, Weech’s book can be read as an encouraging lesson or a popcorn thriller, and hopefully both.
A smart, page-turning journey into night terror, cybernetic warfare, and the meaning of bravery.